First on ICB: Jeep begins advertising in India

Fiat is all set to launch its Jeep SUV brand in India later this year. Fiat India officially announced the arrival of the Jeep SUV brand a month ago, when it also revealed a road map for the iconic SUV brand. While the first of the Jeep SUVs will roll onto Indian roads in the second half of the year, Jeep has already begun its brand building efforts in India. Our roving eye in the sky, EarthFusion, has come up with a screen grab of Jeep sponsoring a program on an Indian TV channel called Amrita TV. Notably, this is the first ever instance of the Jeep brand advertising in India.

Jeep sponsoring TV program in India

Jeep sponsoring TV program in India

Jeep will begin operations in India from the second half of this year, when it will launch the legendary Wrangler SUV. The Wrangler which will be aimed at intrepid off roaders will be followed by the Grand Cherokee SUV, which will come with a highler level of luxury and a higher price tag. Both the Jeep Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee SUVs are expected to be powered by powerful and torquey turbo diesel engines. Expect automatic transmissions to be standard on both these SUVs. The Jeep Wrangler is expected to be priced at INR 35 lakhs, while the Grand Cherokee would be priced a few lakhs higher than the Wrangler.

2013 Jeep Wrangler MOAB Edition

2013 Jeep Wrangler MOAB Edition

Both the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee will be imported into India through the completely built unit(CBU) route and this is the reason for the high price these SUVs will command. Initially, the two SUVs could be sold from independent Fiat India dealerships, with them eventually moving into dedicated Jeep dealerships. That said, the after sales service for the Jeep brand of SUVs are expected to be handled by Fiat’s independent after sales network. Even as you read this, Fiat India has embarked upon a big dealership and after sales service center expansion program across the country. The Italian brand has now broken away from the Tata-Fiat joint venture for distributing and servicing Fiat cars in India.

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

While the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee’s will primarily be positioned as brand builders, the Jeep label has big ambitions for the Indian car market, which loves its SUVs to bits. Come 2014, Jeep will move into the mass market with a B-segment compact SUV. A year later, another mass market C-segment SUV will be launched by Jeep. Both these SUVs could be based on Fiat’s existing platforms, albeit with all the changes necessary for Jeep to uphold the rich tradition and characteristics of Jeep SUVs. The Jeep SUVs will be built at Fiat India’s Ranjangaon plant, off Pune, and will come with a high level of localization to allow for a competitive price tag.

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